Almost everything we consume will one day go to waste. To decrease the amount of waste, measures such as recycling, reuse and reparation are crucial. Thanks to such measures, only about 1 % of the waste in Sweden goes to landfill.

In recent decades, waste management practices have made considerable progress in Sweden. As more goals, policy instruments and measures have been introduced, public environmental awareness has increased.

In a new film by Smart City Sweden, some of the measures taken to increase recycling and reuse of waste are demonstrated.

– Here in Sweden, we live like we have four planet earths, but we have only one and we have to take care of it, Martin Dyberg from the municipal-owned waste management company NSR said in the film. He highlights the importance of recycling and reuse, as well as measures to make sure that the amount of waste created is decreased.

One example of material recycling and reuse demonstrated in the film is Siptex, the world’s first large-scale facility for automatic textile sorting. Siptex makes sure that the textile is automatically sorted to be used for new purposes, which decreases the amount of waste, as well as the need for new materials being produced.

Using waste as vehicle fuel

The waste that cannot be turned into new materials, such as organic waste, can instead have other areas of use. In Sweden, about 40 % of the organic waste is converted into biogas, which can be used as fuel for transport. In the town of Linköping, the citizens put their organic waste in a green bag, which is then separated from other waste bags and transported to a biogas facility, where it becomes vehicle fuel and bio fertiliser. Waste that cannot be recycled is recovered as electricity, heating or district cooling.

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